Ranil delivers rallying cry on reconciliation

Saturday, 24 October 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Calls on lawmakers to join good governance journeyPromises justice 
  • for all parties through local mechanism
  • Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake says UN influenced by major Western powers

03_REVISED_RANIL_ST_175032fPrime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe


 By Ashwin Hemmathagama Our Lobby Correspondent

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe set the stage for the second day of the Adjournment Motion on the resolution passed by the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) on Sri Lanka by telling his fellow lawmakers yesterday that it was better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. 

“We all suffered due to terrorism, which spread, making racism its base. There was tremendous loss of human life as well as property during the conflict. After the war, having failed to take effective action to cure the wounded hearts and souls of Sri Lankans, the country was cornered by the international community. This will not allow us to go forward. We need to come out of international isolation. The Geneva proposals have given us the opportunity. Now we need to discuss how best we can do this by mending the broken hearts and mending them by spreading peace and mercy,” he said.

The Premier urged all members of the House to join the journey of good governance. “Our intention should not be to punish people or to take revenge but to find out the real issues and to take firm action to prevent similar incidents taking place in the future. Both the President and I want this to take place on par with the provisions of Article 4 of the Constitution. We will not violate people’s sovereignty. We will act according to the Supreme Court.” 

Speaking further, he went on to say: “In August 2005 Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated by the LTTE. But within four months from that incident money was given to the LTTE to influence the Presidential Election. Subsequently, the military was instructed to finish the war before the end of the Indian elections. Then came the white flag incident. The commanding officer there should have taken the decision to honour the white flags or not, even though we are unable to trust the LTTE. Why was the decision taken from Colombo? The intention was to save Pulidevan (LTTE leader) who made the deal with the Government in November 2005. This is the truth. It is not to save the innocent people. Trying to save Pulidevan led to an unnecessary issue. The military there should have been given the option to make the decision if they actually wanted to surrender or fight. After all this drama, we went to the UN and pledged to accept their proposal.

“Now you are crying for the military. What have you done for the military? You have imprisoned Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, a former member of this Parliament. We saw how he was dragged out from Cinnamon Lake. The military police personnel who were protecting Sarath Fonseka on the instructions of the Elections Commissioner were asked to kneel on the road in their uniforms. What had they done wrong? Now don’t cry for the military. Go offer your apology. Justice for Tamils and justice for all. Justice doesn’t mean that you will have case after case after case. But we all need to know the truth and to come out from this pit. Let’s get together to come out from this pit by forgetting petty political aims and establishing a local mechanism,” the Prime Minister said. 

Joining the debate, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said: “There are cultural differences inherent to each of Sri Lanka’s ethnicities. We would have migrated here from different parts of the world. Presently, many ethnic groups live here in Sri Lanka. Unless we accept this diversity we will not be able to go forward. For that we need to build recognition for all. This includes all aspects of a community’s culture and behaviour, including its religion. 

“We have seen attempts to destroy this unity simply to retain power. This is the same racism which grew beyond control and destroyed everything through a war. No other external source can create a war unless there is an internal issue which can be influenced from outside. We still don’t know the correct number of deaths and the true value of the damage to property. None of us has the right to fuel another war through racism. Those who became victims of this war were the people on both sides, not the politicians who created it. It is our responsibility to establish national unity, peace and harmony.”

Dissanayake went on to state that the days nations remained isolated in their dealings had long past. He stated that the UN had the responsibility to examine the international arena through a macro view. 

“However, the UN has failed to act independently on most occasions, becoming a cat’s paw of the Western powers including the United States. Do you believe India would solve our issues? You are mistaken. Today Jaffna has become an Indian RAW base. The United States has worsened matters in Iraq. Today Iraq is in a grave state following the killing of Saddam Hussein. Then the US moved to Libya and did the same. They too will not solve the people’s issues. I trust the TNA knows this fact,” he said.